The unconditional love between a man and a dog is a powerful thing. Just take a look at this picture, which you may have seen it a few years back.
There’s a man with long, gray hair swimming with his dog in his arms. But, do you know the story behind it?
The man is John Unger of Bayfield, Wis with his Shepherd Mix dog named Schoep. The duo has been together for 19 years. The man adopted Schoep when he was just a puppy. Unfortunately, Schoep was abused by his previous owner and it took him several months to trust Unger.
However, Unger was devastated when he found out that his dog was suffering from arthritis and hip dysplasia, and he may need to be put down soon. Instead of letting the dog suffer, Unger decided to help ease Schoep’s pain and take the pressure off his joints by floating with him in the waters.
While searching for remedies, Unger found out that people who suffer from arthritis receive water therapy. So, he decided to try this with his dog and brought him to one of his favorite spots: Lake Superior. Unger wanted to take advantage of the lake’s temperature during the summer so Schoep can relax and feel weightless
Considering the grim prognosis from the veterinarian, Unger also called his photographer friend, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, to see whether she had time to capture a special photo of Schoep just in case. Unger’s friend took the picture of them and quickly became popular around the world.
When the photo became viral, the story of Unger and Schoep made it to the news. Many people around the world started donating so Unger can continue to relieve the dog’s pain. Thanks to the donations, Unger tried a few other methods of pain management.
Although Schoep passed away, the love behind this picture can be still felt around the world.